Penguins beat Predators, take 2-0 Stanley Cup lead

Penguins beat Predators, take 2-0 Stanley Cup lead

Like the rest of the Penguins, he finds himself just two wins away from back-to-back Stanley Cup victories. Rinne was pulled from Game 2 after the Penguins scored three goals on their first five shots of the third period in a span of three minutes, 18 seconds to snap a 1-1 tie and take a 4-1 lead at 3:28.

Then, just over three minutes later, the Predators had their second own-goal in as many games, when Vernon Fiddler's skate knocked a bouncing puck through Rinne's five-hole - the goal officially goes to Scott Wilson, but equal credit should go to Phil Kessel, who earned the assist for sneaking the puck into a unsafe position.

Guentzel, who also scored the game-winning goal in the series' opener, has 12 goals in the playoffs, the second highest total ever by an National Hockey League rookie, and five of them are game winners, an National Hockey League record.

Evgeni Malkin extended Pittsburgh's lead to 4-1 just 15 seconds later, beating Rinne with a wrist shot during a two-on-one.

Both goals came with Rinne screened and out of position to make a play on the puck at the side of the cage. The coach did not commit to starting him when the series resumes this weekend, though he praised his goaltender throughout the postgame news conference. "After that, we have confidence that we're going to score goals". "Any time you can put pucks on the net it's a good thing". Game 3 will be played on Saturday at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. "Only in Nashville could you have A-list artists on hand and excited to help the city come together for great music while we cheer on our Nashville Predators". "We have emotions to keep going".

Fifty teams have taken a 2-0 lead since the final went to a best-of-seven format in 1939. Pittsburgh had the same lead previous year against San Jose and needed six games to win its fourth Cup.

Rinne's in full regression now, 2 weak games in the Final and his career numbers (.880% in 8 career regular season games) are putrid.

Not only does Guentzel have a knack for scoring, but he's been a key player in scoring big goals that have shifted the momentum of games in Pittsburgh's favor.

The Penguins said they'd take more shots on goal than the 12 they took in Game 1, and they made good on that with 12 shots in the first period Wednesday.

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla expects to be out until November
Cazorla says Arsenal , the club he joined in August 2012 from La Liga side Malaga, have been extremely supportive of him. Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

Nashville, a first-time Final participant, heads home with a sizeable task.

"For me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity", Rinne said "I've played a long time and this is my first time having a chance to play for the Cup". But only five games at most remain in the season, so the Penguins are set on preventing Grade-A looks and not sweating the percentages.

It hasn't been easy against Pittsburgh.

Until Wednesday night, Nashville had not lost consecutive games this postseason.

As for the drop between the other two series, Rinne's progression back to earth feels more natural. "Overall these two games, like I said, it's disappointing to be down 2-0 but we have to be feeling still positive with the way we played as a whole and creating chances". All three goals in the third period, we could have done something better.

Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray stopped 37-of-38 Nashville shots and Chris Kunitz had two assists for the Penguins for a second game in a row.

Then came the third period, when everything changed - for Rinne, for Nashville, for this series. The rookie from Omaha, Nebraska, leads the playoffs with 12 goals and has scored the past three goals for Pittsburgh. After Malkin's goal, Rinne's night was over and Juuse Saros was called in to finish up the game between the pipes.

The game was tied at 1 at the start of the third period when Guentzel jumped on a rebound 10 seconds into the period to put Pittsburgh ahead. Rinne has been everything and more the Predators could have asked from a goalie during this postseason up until these finals against the Penguins.

"It's not his fault by any means", Nashville captain Mike Fisher said of the goals allowed in Pittsburgh. "I think it serves a objective, I don't know if it tells the whole story, but if you see or evaluate things a certain way, sometimes it can confirm or deny what happened out there".

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